As demand rises, the City of Delray Beach has a severe shortage of residential space, particularly considering limits on how high apartment buildings can be, and a lack of available land, according to a report in the Sun Sentinel.
To fill the need for residential housing, Real Estate Investment Management Group Grover Corlew, with extensive experience building multifamily properties, has proposed plans to build Mayla Delray, an eight-story, Class A 271-unit residential community at 1625 South Congress Avenue in Delray Beach within an existing office complex site located south of Linton Boulevard. Of the 271 units, 55 will be workforce housing units, which provides additional units that contribute to a reduction in the supply and demand gap for moderate income workers in Delray Beach. This would be the third in a new portfolio of multifamily residences under the brand name of Mayla Residences. The first is currently under construction in Pompano Beach and another will soon be under construction in the Cypress Creek area of Fort Lauderdale.
“We would be meeting a critical housing need here in Delray Beach and increasing the supply of workforce housing with Mayla Delray,” said Partner Mark Corlew. “Our vision is to create more connected, pedestrian-friendly communities, where people can live, work and play. The employers surrounding Mayla within the office complex are excited about the possibility to have housing available to their employees. We have made the adjustments to our plans based on comments from the city Planning and Zoning Board and believe this is a tremendous addition to the beautiful city of Delray Beach.”
The adjusted project plans that are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and meet the applicable criteria set forth in the Land Development Regulations. Mayla Delray will maintain the scale, density, intensity and enhances the character of the “surrounding neighborhood, district or corridor.”
“Mayla Delray is well below Floor Area Ratio, density and height limits,” said Partner Anuj Grover. “The building is within the eight-story height limit and is compliant with the density maximums allowed per the Land Development Regulations and the Always Delray Comprehensive Plan. We care about our local communities. We live and work here and have several projects throughout Palm Beach County.”
The resulting Floor Area Ratio, which includes the parking garage, is also in compliance as the maximum allowed is 2.5 and approximately 1.31 will result with the proposed building. The height maximum is 85 ft. and this building is 80 ft. four inches. Maximum density is 40 DU/AC and this project is at 22 DU/AC. The minimum of open space is 25% and Mayla Delray will be at 27%. The Palm Beach County Traffic Division also determined that the project meets the TPS of Palm Beach County.
“Housing units are much more important than landscape buffers,” said Steve Mackey, Sales & Acquisitions, Mack Industrial, Inc., a Delray Beach resident and local real estate investor. “Housing availability is a significant challenge in Delray Beach, just as it has been throughout South Florida. Mayla Delray is in line with what the original Congress Avenue task force requested and will certainly be an excellent addition to Delray.”
Mackey believes the city needs to be proactive in adding new housing units and finding solutions for the lack of housing options rather than building roadblocks which only exacerbates the affordability and shortage crisis. “They need to find ways to say yes instead of looking for reasons to say no,” he said. “Cities and municipalities should be providing incentives to get more housing units built and cannot expect developers to single handily fix the crisis. If they keep finding ways to say no, the gentrification will continue, and we will all get gentrified by richer people moving in from New York and California.”
Keith O’Donnell, Principal, Capital Markets with Avison Young, believes the reason the area struggles with housing supply and affordability is the influx of new residents, particularly from the northeast. “The private sector is taking risks envisioning new housing options to meet the significant needs of the market in locations like Congress Avenue in Delray Beach. That’s despite the batch plants, water treatment facilities, large powerlines and lack of a future road plan.”
O’Donnell adds that beautiful new residential buildings with amenities are needed to attract the workforce that will fill surrounding office buildings. “This also encourages local commercial neighborhoods to make improvements, which leads to a sense of community,” he said. “People need places to create community, and they will. Proactive governments partnering with the private sector will win the battle for talent and stability.”
The nationally recognized company, Kaufman Lynn Construction, moved its headquarters to Delray Beach from Boca Raton, building their offices on Congress Avenue based on the promise that the corridor would be promoted as the next expansion in the city. “We made a $20 million investment here, so we have a strong interest in making this a signature area of the city,” said CEO and Board Chair Mike Kaufman, whose company is 100% employee owned. “We understand why a project like Mayla Delray is important to our community because people need appropriate housing. We are a growing company with 250 employees and actively recruiting employees nationally, but we have lost some candidates because they could not find appropriate housing here.”
Kaufman, who has never worked with Grover Corlew, is 100% behind Mayla Delray. “It’s a smart project that adds great value to the Congress Avenue corridor and provides a much-needed housing option for those who want to live here,” Kaufman added.
The Mayla Delray project proposes a string of landscaped plaza features along South Congress Avenue, including a transit stop, that are linked to existing and proposed buildings. The project also provides the required shared use path along the CSX train tracks, which will link to adjacent properties over time. The traffic analysis indicates that the net new trips anticipated to be generated by the proposed redevelopment of the site will not have a significant impact on the surrounding roadways.
The well-respected Grover Corlew team is actively involved in local communities supporting professional, civic and non-profit organizations, particularly those focused on children and education. Among the organizations supported by Grover Corlew are the Palm Beach County Education Foundation and the Broward Education Foundation which serves teachers and students in Title 1 schools; Boys & Girls Club; Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center and Florence Fuller Child Development Centers. Corlew is actively involved in NAIOP South Florida, the state chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, where he sits on the board. He is a past board member of NAIOP nationally.
The pedestrian-friendly Mayla Delray residences would be highlighted by spa-inspired bathrooms with soaking tubs, frameless shower enclosures, back-lit vanity mirrors; quartz countertops, high-end cabinetry with under cabinet lights, stainless steel appliances, bottom mount sinks, built-in microwaves, glass cooktops, and full height tile backsplashes in the kitchen; walk-in closets with high-end shelving; private balconies; hurricane impact windows; and washer and dryers in each residence.
Residents would have exclusive access to a clubroom; co-workspaces; a TV lounge; a 24/7state-of-the-art fitness center and yoga-aerobics room; resort-style pool with cabanas; outdoor kitchens with seating; a dog spa; bicycle storage and repair station; ample parking; storage cages; and interior mailrooms and package rooms.
Grover Corlew is building multifamily residences under the Mayla brand and has several commercial properties throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties. For more information on Grover Corlew, visit grovercorlew.com.
About Grover Corlew
Real estate veterans with a proven track record of more than 100 years of combined industry experience lead Grover Corlew in acquiring, transforming and managing office, multifamily and retail properties across the southeastern U.S., with a focus on Florida. The Grover Corlew team has developed, owned and managed 10,000+ units and more than 10 million sq. ft. of commercial space, taking a personalized approach to investor and tenant relationships, which has attracted corporate headquarters to Grover Corlew signature buildings. The company is actively developing new projects that will continue to help revitalize and stimulate local communities.